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Sunday August 23rd, 2009 5:47 am

As I kiss the wife goodbye, the dogs poke their heads out from under the covers. I rub them behind the ears and tell them to take care of their mom. Funny how quickly they take advantage of the warm spot I just vacated…

I can hear Mark messing with the gate outside, he’s two minutes late. That thing still sticks, but it will have to wait until I get back. I meet him in the kitchen where we quietly high-five. The time has come, the build-up is over, my two weeks is finally here. We throw the last of my gear in the truck and are on our way. Utah here we come!

– Andrew Crow

Monday August 24th 2009, Monroe

We arrived last night around 5 and were immediately joined by a couple of our good friends who live in the Monroe area. After glassing for a few hours and countless satellite phone calls to try to bring the rest of our group together… we finally made it to camp, ate a little dinner and we’re ready for bed around 12:30 a.m…. I was working on getting my gear dialed-in for the next day and decided I probably didn’t need to carry bear spray down here in Utah…. I removed the bear spray from the holster and then removed the holster from my pack… in the dark of the night, I didn’t realize the safety piece had fallen off the spray somewhere between here and Montana…. In my haste to pack and get some rest I jostled with the bear spray trying to get it back in the holster and sprayed myself directly in the eyes and nose with a serious douse of the stuff from only 12 inches away! All I can say is wow… that is the real deal experience. My eyes immediately wouldn’t open and drool and mucus began to fill my mouth and nose… I managed to keep very calm (5 of our 7 camp members didn’t realize till this morning and they we’re still awake!) asking Andrew for help. He did a great job of diagnosing my problem and helping to remedy the situation… I never thought I’d get the chance to feel like a grizzly.

_- Mark Seacat

_Monday August 24th 2009, Monroe

A little slow to rise this morning: snoozed the alarm at 5:15, again at 5:30. It was an interesting night that ended a lot later than any of us had hoped…

I felt like the blind leading the blind attempting to steer the rest of our party through the maze of roads that cut this unit. We eventually had to jump in the truck and go lead them into camp. With midnight approaching fast, we scarfed some hotdogs and threw our pads on the dirt – comfort camp would have wait for tomorrow.

I was just settling in when I heard a calm but obviously distressed request come from Seacat. I rose, walked around the truck and was greeted by a nauseating wave of pepper. Bear spray on the ground, Mark bent over, drool pouring from his mouth, mucus oozing from his nose, eyes jammed shut – didn’t have to be Sherlock to put this together. I led him over to the water jugs and spent the next ten minutes prying his eyes open just enough to douse them with water. He is fine but definitely looked a little worse for the wear today!

It was cool and clear as we walked towards the canyon we wanted to scout. My mind kept succumbing to the anticipation as I imagined every forked branch or skylined sage to be the bull I keep seeing in my dreams. We cut too low and didn’t get as good a view of the canyon as we’d hoped, but we glassed the country well and soaked up the scenery. I think we will form a better plan for this afternoon now that camp is dialed and we have a good lay of the land.

– Andrew Crow

Monday 24th 2009, Monroe

My eyes have recovered… but not enough to find Andrew a bull on the first morning. We made it back to camp early… it’s hard to focus with all the tasks still at hand, so we decided to get camp in order. We’ve had great help from everyone involved and this rowdy bunch of Montana kids is finally getting dialed. Andrew has ice water running through his veins… with all the attention his hunt is receiving (Live Hunt and being filmed for the Outdoor Channel’s ON YOUR OWN ADVENTURES) he’s cool, calm, and collected…. What a great hunting partner! Now I’m going to send this blog off, grab the maps, and plan tonight’s adventure.

Wish us luck… we’ll check in soon!

– Mark Seacat

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